The Greek Air Force’s two F-16 fighter planes intercepted and escorted a Ryanair flight from Katowice to Athens after receiving a bomb threat report from the Boeing 737’s pilots.
On Sunday at roughly 2:20 p.m., Ryanair flight FR-6385 departed Katowice, Poland, for what was supposed to be a short two-hour flight to Greece.
The pilots alerted air traffic controllers to the potential security risk as the six-year-old aircraft entered Greek airspace. The plane was promptly rerouted over the Aegean Sea, away from populous regions, and fighter jets were dispatched to intercept it.
The airplane was then given permission to proceed on its approach to Athens, where it safely landed. However, the plane was directed to a remote part of the airfield, where it was met by local law enforcement.
Constantia Dimoglidou, a police spokesperson, was quoted as saying: “The pilot informed the Athens control tower, but we don’t know where the information originally came from.”
An official from Ryanair stated that there were 190 passengers and crew on board the aircraft, which was being flown by Ryanair’s Polish subsidiary Buzz.
Police teams investigated the plane and went through the passenger bags upon arrival in Greece, but nothing unusual was discovered.
As opposed to making a sudden turnaround for a different destination as soon as the bomb threat was received, Ryanair claims its pilots followed the correct procedure by continuing their flight to Athens as planned.
Officials from the U.S. government and Ryanair’s own CEO both described the complex bomb fake as an “act of aviation piracy.”